Snow Shoveling – An “Easy” Chore Over the Holidays

SnowStormSchools are out this week, and most kids are home hanging out with friends, or playing Video games, with a small majority whining about the electronic games they didn’t get for  Christmas.

The Christmas week vacation is too short for kids to have a regular job, but not too short for a lot of this kids to make some serious money, and to really understand that “Money does not grow on trees”.

I believe chores are one of the best ways of helping kids develop their “Money Muscle” by allowing them to actively participate in generating some sort of income, as well making spending decisions on that money. The current snowstorms in the North East present an enticing opportunity for youngsters that want to earn some serious money.

All they need are a couple of snow shovels, the courage to walk up to a neighbours door with a smile, and the simple explanation that they are looking to make some money. Most people I know will respond positively to this type of request, and many times, they’d be happy to refer the kids to others looking to get their driveways cleaned up.

The enterprising kids might consider making some sort of fliers or calling cards, that they can easily drop off with the neighbours, or post at the local coffee places.

Have the kids start in their own backyard, and price it per the space, not by the hours they put in. With this experience, and the tangible results, it will be easy to extend it to the rest of the neighbourhood, creating a positive image for themselves, and some serious cash flow.

A lot of the chores I’ve discussed here are best worked at home, mainly because of the age of my kids, but snow shoveling is a chore that allows the kids to start interacting with other members of the society in a professional way, which is a great opportunity for them to start practising skills acquired at home in a safe environment.

As as you get ready to celebrate the new year, please encourage your kids to earn some extra money by shoveling if you live in a snow bound area.

Question: What do you think is the right age for kids to start looking to do this type of paid chores outside of the home?

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I Should Be Paid For Good Grades

From GinasMom

This is another guest post by my oldest.

moneyMy mom says there are chores that I have to do because I’m part of the team, and then there are chores that I do and I get some money.Some of this jobs-jobs pay pretty well, but sometimes it takes me a long time to save money for things that I really want to buy.  Adding tax money on top of that makes its more challenging.

It’s time to be super-creative!

On my buy list is a Pucci Plush Pup for $19.19 at my favourite store Target. That’s a lot of money, and I’m afraid I won’t get it until I’m really, really old, like 10 years old. So I’m going to ask mom to pay me for good grades at school, after all my teacher says I’m doing great, and I’m not sure how long this greatness will last.

I don’t plan to whine about it, since whining turns my happy mom into a sad mom and it’s not a pretty sight. I’ve explained this to my younger sister a couple of times, but it looks like it will take her a while to understand it. I know that’s not the way to get anything out of mom.

I think this is a brilliant idea, and considering, I’ve thought about it all by myself, I can only see good things coming out of it.

Knowing my mom, she’ll want to know why I think it’s a brilliant idea. Here is my list

1.  If she pays me for good grades, then I’ll work very hard, pass all my exams, go to college, get a nice job, make lots of money, buy a house and move out of mom’s and dad’s place.

2.  It’s very hard work, and I believe hard work should earn some money. My mom says that all the time. “Hard work pays”

3.  It will encourage my little sister to work hard at school too. My mom says am to be a good example to her (She probably doesn’t need the extra money, since she won’t have anybody to encourage).

4.  Everybody gets paid for good grades. I know Jon’s dad pays him $5 dollars every time he passes a test.

Do you see any flaws in my argument? Anything else I can add to strengthen my case?

Please check back in a couple of days, and I’ll let you know how successful I was in convincing mom,to pay me for good grades at school.

Jobs that earn big money for kids! Chores at home.


Yesterday one of my friends (with kids my age), wanted to know what type of chores the girls do to earn money at home. The following is my response.

To make it easy to divide the money earned and to cope with inflation, I have raised wages to a dollar for most jobs. The list changes with the seasons, but here are some examples of chores little kids can do to earn some money. I wouldn’t expect them to do everything on the list, otherwise you risk frustration and complete failure of the system, just pick a couple to work with.

  • Sweep  stairs.
  • Water the plants.
  • Arrange shoes in the closets  – amazing how they get disorganized daily.
  • Laundry – make it specific, e.g. folding their little bits like socks or  t-shirts (show them how to do it on the floor).
  • Cleaning the house – give them something specific.
  • Cleaning windows – great if the windows are easily accessible. Some Windex and a soft cloth is all they need.
  • Dishes – do them together, you scrub and they’ll rinse, or vice versa.
  • Emptying the little trash bags around the house and putting in new ones.
  • Arranging the plastics drawer.
  • Empty the dishwasher (do it together).
  • Arranging the book shelf in their bedroom.
  • Feeding the cat or dog if you have one.

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Chores from my childhood: Can you top this?

Despite the fact that my mother is literally thousands of miles away, I still like to touch base with her regularly especially on matters of child rearing. I respect her wisdom and experience in bringing up kids, being a stay at home mom, not to mention taking care of an extended family, in a part of the world where home automation was nill. Everything was  manual; no dishwashers, no microwaves, no washing machines, no vacuum-cleaners, etc, but it wasn’t a big deal since that was the way it was. I appreciate what I have, which allows me to compare the two lifestyles and I consider myself very lucky to be in that position.

Last week, the topic turned to how the kids were doing and I mentioned some of the chores they do to earn their money, and she burst out laughing as she reminded me of some of the chores we had to do to earn money. After a good chuckle we both agreed,  “It wasn’t Kansas anymore” but the principles and the practices hold.

Here are some of the ones I recall.

  • Doing laundry by hand. We didn’t get paid for cleaning our stuff (mainly small bits of clothing like socks, she still did the last wash), but if we laundered anything extra, like our small T-shirts, she was very generous with the payments. As we grew older the items list changed.
  • Helping in the garden. We each had a small patch (probably 6  by 6 feet), that we could call our own, but if we helped in the bigger garden, we got some serious cash. On top of that any produce that came out of that could be sold for some income.
  • Sweeping the compound after the cows and goats came home – enough said.
  • At harvest time, we picked all the corn and brought it indoors, where we proceeded to shell it and bag it, in preparation for storing it for future use. We could earn as much as we wanted by shelling the corn. This was a fun activity that was open to all the neighbourhood kids with their parents permission. It was a big summer (August) activity.
  • Fetching water, firewood etc.
  • Cleaning the house (no Vacuum cleaners, just the old-fashioned elbow grease).
  • Cleaning the outhouse.
  • Any job which called for hiring an outsider . For example mowing the lawn (With a manual slasher – see picture).

Question:  Any of the above  ring a bell with you?  Did you ever have to do anything like that to earn money?  What are some of the chores your kids do to earn money?

You want my money for what? (Allowance or Chores)

While doing some research on bringing up financially savvy kids, I came across the concept of giving them an allowance so they can learn how to manage their money.

I have to admit I found the idea strange and a little unsettling. The biggest question for me was and still is; why would I give children my money, so they can learn how to manage it? Why not let them practice on money they had earned?  I figured this had something to do the American dream or the American culture (My adopted country), and even though I love everything American (almost everything), this did not sit right with me, it felt wrong.

I moved to this country when I was about twenty-four years old to attend college, so by then my character was already formed for better or for worse.

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